Tokyo Disney Resort and Oriental Land Company have officially broken ground on what they are calling their biggest expansion in history since the opening of Tokyo Disney Sea in 2001. The groundbreaking ceremony came just under one year after the announcement of the new expansion in April of last year. The new expansion will feature a variety of new areas and attractions for guests to explore and will feature popular Disney movies including Beauty and the Beast and Big Hero 6.
The biggest part of the expansion will be a new area themed around Beauty and the Beast. This new area will drop guests in the middle of the village of Belle and will include a new attraction, a restaurant, merchandise locations, and character meet and greets. There will also be a new 1,500-seat theater indoor theater opening inside Fantasyland in for live shows and productions. The attraction coming to the expansion is described as a ride where guests board ““enchanted dishes that dance in rhythm to the film’s music.” Guests will also venture through the Beasts castle during the ride, which leads one to think that the new restaurant coming to the area will not be the incredibly popular Be our Guest restaurant that we have at Walt Disney World. Upon closer examination of some concept artwork, it appears that they will instead be getting an expanded version of Gaston’s Tavern, which would be a flip of what we have in Orlando, which is a small snack stand at the Magic Kingdom. This new expansion will require a few attractions to close at Tokyo Disneyland, including Grand Circuit Raceway and StarJets.
Other additions during this massive investment include a new spinning attraction based on the hit movie Big Hero 6. The attraction will be similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree at Disney’s California Adventure and a new Minnie Mouse meet and greet location coming to ToonTown.
This expansion is an example of how Oriental Land Company continues to remain independent from the Disney corporate hierarchy. Disney wanted Tokyo Disney Resort to do a clone of Cars Land, for example, and the resort decided to go their own route with this current construction, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020 at a cost of 17 Billion Yen, or $152 million.